In the Orchard

Cider Apple Harvest 2014 Begins!

We’re busy here at Redbyrd these days; preparing the press for another season of apples coming down from the hopper, getting our Ag&Markets required washing machine hooked up, helping with the planning of another fantastic FLX Cider Week upcoming in October, and of course, beginning to pick those absolutely gorgeously beautiful apples! So busy, in fact, that rather than craft our own musings on harvest, we will borrow from our dear friend and fellow organic apple orchardist, Chris Negronida of West Haven []

Heading to StumpSprouts!

Tomorrow we head for the Berkshires, Stump Sprouts to be exact, for the annual meeting of Holistic Orchardists.  Organized by Michael Phillips, author of “The Apple Grower, a guide for the organic orchardist“, this is an amazing two days of roundtable discussions on healthy orchard care.  We feel honored to be a part of the discussion and grateful to all participants for how much we walk away with at the end of the visit.  Michael has been do amazing work to further []

Winter Work

In the midst of a busy bottling schedule, we’re making time for our favorite orchard task…pruning! This week we’ve put our Cloudsplitter and our first ever Kingston Black single varietal into bottles, now the job is to keep them warm enough to get through second fermentation in the bottle.  The second fermentation will give these ciders their exquisite fine bubbles…ready to drink by early May. Woohoo!  We’ve also been busy making changes to some of our labels, including a back panel and []

Come Wassail With Us!

Join us for an evening of rousing fun and revelry! We’ll stomp through the orchard and then share in music and food and libation. Bring a dish to pass and stay for dinner! We’ll have a few flashlight led winter orchard tours, lots of hot cider, and fiddle music to knock your socks off…so dress warm! When?   January 17, FRIDAY! From 4:30 PM until 7pm   Wassailing will occur at sunset, don’t miss it Where? At Redbyrd’s orchard in Trumansburg! Where is that? []

Interested in Growing Apples? Holistic Organic Orchard Classes Offered

Join us, along with a handful of New York State’s finest apple growers and cidermakers, as we get down to the real grit of apple growing! We’re proud to be a part of this wonderful team of teachers… Groundswell is honored to be working with an outstanding group of orchardists who have designed the course. They will be teaching and hosting these hands-on sessions at orchards around the Tompkins County area. This is a unique opportunity to learn from some of the []

The Poetics of Fruit Thinning

It’s hard, but somebody’s got to do it!  Oh how easy it would be to let all those gorgeous fruitlets grow to fruition, smile smile.  They look so beautiful and full of potential.  It seems to go against nature in a certain sense to not let them fulfill their destiny, but alas…we are growing for great, intensely flavorful, and optimally healthy fruit.  Which means, with deep regret and the sincerest of apologies , not all them apples are meant to make it.  []

Growing Habitat for Wild Bees

At Redbyrd Orchard, we love wild bees! Wild bees are fantastic pollinators for apples and other tree fruit, in part because wild bees fly in cooler temperatures when honey bees aren’t active, and because, holy cow, the current state of affairs for honey bees is pretty scary and uncertain. Wild bees emerge early in the spring and pollinate apple blossoms even when cooler weather prevails.  This pollination is critical for our apples. We leave unmowed row middles until early summer, allowing wildflowers []